ENSAE Paris - École d'ingénieurs pour l'économie, la data science, la finance et l'actuariat

MS Actuarial Science

The Advanced Master in Actuarial Science trains actuaries, i.e., professionals in the evaluation, modeling, and management of risks in their economic, insurance, financial, and social dimensions. The profession is organized at the national level, by the Institute of Actuaries (IA), and at the international level, by the European Actuarial Association (EAA) and the International Actuarial Association (IAA).
MS Actuarial Science


The Advanced Masters are courses at the level of Bac+6, and are intended for candidates who already have a Bac+5 (find out more about admission).

ENSAE Paris' Actuarial Science program is recognized by the Institute of Actuaries. It allows its students to apply to the Institute of Actuaries to become associate members, after defending their actuarial thesis before the IA jury. After three years of professional experience, they can apply for their qualification, then their certification, and thus become a member of the international community of actuaries as a "Fully Qualified" Actuary.

The ENSAE Paris program provides the advanced knowledge and skills necessary for the actuary (governed by the core syllabus) and enables its students to acquire a solid methodological foundation in mathematics, statistics, economics and finance. It also provides advanced training in various fields of specialization, in line with developments in the insurance sector.

Finally, actuarial science is regularly ranked by economic magazines and job sites (Forbes, Career Cast, etc.) in the top 10 best professions and offers high-potential career prospects as well as an attractive salary. As the actuarial profession is organized on a global scale, it also offers many opportunities for expatriation.

Valued skills in a range of activities

Historically, actuarial studies appeared as soon as the problem of organizing and financing a life insurance system arose. Then the activity of the actuary was extended to all insurance systems (pension and provident plans, personal insurance, fire and accident insurance, various risks). The core business of the actuary was the pricing of insurance contracts and the provisioning of the liabilities related to these contracts. However, behind the actuary's job lie a wide variety of careers and sectors of activity, of which here are a few examples.

In property and casualty insurance, nearly 70% of the companies' liabilities are made up of reserves for claims to be paid. Their impact on the results of insurance companies makes their evaluation highly strategic. This is why senior actuaries in insurance companies are called upon to occupy management positions of great responsibility.

Natural catastrophe risks and industrial risks of large groups have an increasingly important impact on the liabilities of non-life insurance companies. The use of reinsurance products has become a necessity for the solvency of companies. It is therefore understandable that actuaries naturally find their place in insurance and reinsurance companies to set up risk sharing mechanisms.

The inversion of the production cycle in insurance leads companies to collect large sums of money and to manage them in an intelligent way. The amount of assets managed by life insurers at the end of 2019 amounted to nearly 1,800 billion euros (source: FFSA). The actuary therefore has a privileged place to occupy in the fields of asset-liability management and asset allocation. These professions require a very good mastery of portfolio management tools and financial mathematics. The development of retirement savings plans in France over the last twenty years has created job opportunities for actuaries.

Nevertheless, the actuarial profession is not limited to insurance companies, reinsurance companies and mutual insurance companies. Actuarial firms, internal audit departments of insurance companies and the regulatory authority (ACP, Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel) also offer transverse jobs to actuaries, such as in the field of control and audit.

In summary, actuaries have a wide variety of jobs in many sectors of activity, both public and private, such as insurance, reinsurance, mutual insurance companies, provident societies, pensions, control, banking and asset management, industry, consulting, auditing, academic or corporate research and teaching.

It is a profession in constant evolution: data sciences, digital revolution, regulations, international context... actuarial science must constantly adapt to the evolution of society!

The training 

The courses listed below correspond to the provisional curriculum for the year 2023-24, which may be subject to change.

  • 410 hours of teaching
  • 15 months of training including a 6-month internship
  • A professional thesis synthesizing the work

This training program has a double objective:

  • on the one hand, to acquire the theoretical and methodological knowledge necessary to occupy an operational management position in the various professions related to actuarial science,
  • on the other hand, to validate a body of knowledge required by the Institute of Actuaries in order to obtain the title of actuary.

Thanks to the recognized excellence of ENSAE Paris' training in actuarial science, graduates of this MS can be admitted as associate members of the Institute of Actuaries, provided that they have validated their training (requirement of 12 average on the compulsory subjects of the core syllabus) and defend their professional thesis based on their 6-month internship experience, before a jury of the Institute of Actuaries The content of the internship must meet the content requirements set by the Institute.

The training starts at the end of August with a 5-week full-time harmonization block. The courses are then grouped on 3 days of the week from October to mid-May, followed by the end-of-study internship from May to the end of September. It is possible to start the internship early, alternating days in the company (Mondays and Thursdays) and days of classes; except for review and exam weeks.

Approximately 25% of the courses are taught by permanent teachers, 20% by external teachers and 55% by professionals (AXA, Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution, HSBC, Groupama, Milliman, etc.)

  • The Advanced Master's program ends with a 4 to 6 month internship starting in mid-May (minimum 16 weeks for the Specialized Master's program, and 6 months to present a thesis to the Institute of Actuaries). This internship can be started in advance on Mondays and Thursdays, as a part-time internship, in agreement with the ENSAE internship service. In this case, it is advisable to remain vigilant about the workload; it is not advisable to start this part-time internship before February for the MS-Actuarial Science, as the requirements for validation of the curriculum for the Institute of Actuaries require significant personal work throughout the year.

Who is the MS Actuarial Science for?

This program is intended for people who have a solid mathematical background.
The standard recruitment corresponds to students or professionals with a Bac+5 (Master 2 or equivalent) who wish to acquire additional training that will allow them to be competitive on the job market. It is recommended to have a M1 or M2 level in applied mathematics, statistics or mathematical finance, or an engineering or business school diploma with significant mathematical or statistical content.
A harmonization block at the beginning of the program (end of August to beginning of October) aims to consolidate the knowledge base necessary to follow the courses shared with the third year of the engineering program. You will find more information on the course of study here.

Tuition fees 

The cost of the training is fixed at :

  • 14 000€ for professionals, companies or administrations;
  • 9 500€ for students continuing their studies or job seekers.

Prize for the best Actuarial thesis 

ENSAE Paris joins forces with ENSAE Alumni to reward students in the actuarial field. This prize is intended to promote the excellence of the work done in actuarial science by ENSAE Paris students as part of their actuarial thesis.

Class of 2022

The award ceremony for the best actuarial thesis of the class of 2022 was held on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 at ENSAE Paris.
The winner of the 2022 prize is Marguerite SAUCÉ for her thesis "AI and ethics in insurance: a new solution to mitigate proxy discrimination in risk modeling.". The jury also awarded this year a special mention to Noureddine OULID AZOUZ for his dissertation "Net Zero Investment Portfolios".

Composition of the jury

  • 2 academic professors from ENSAE Paris: Caroline Hillairet and Olivier Lopez
  • 2 professors from the professional world of ENSAE Paris: Franck Le Vallois and Norbert Gautron
  • 2 members of the scientific commission of the Institute of Actuaries: Jérôme Vignancour and Anne Emily
  • 1 representative of the professional world and the ENSAE Alumni network: Isabelle Tournassoud